Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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February 24, 2014
Sharing Notes on Urban Wildlife

For the past few years the Urban Wildlife Institute has been chronicling the diversity of wildlife at Nature Boardwalk and Lincoln Park Zoo. We use motion-triggered camera traps to collect photographs of mammals (coyotes, raccoons, etc.), conduct visual observations of birds and butterflies, and even deploy hoop-net traps to monitor the turtle populations in our ponds.

Older Stories

August 8, 2011
Goodbye for Now

As the breeding season for the local population of black-crowned night herons draws to a close, we are seeing fewer and fewer herons at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo with each passing day.

At the peak of this breeding season back in May, we observed just over 400 adult herons.

July 27, 2011
Halloween in July?

This small, colorful dragonfly is called a Halloween pennant. It would be easy to mistake it for a butterfly at first, as it flies on colorful brown-and-orange wings with red accents. However, once it lands on a reed or stem, its posture is clearly that of a pennant.

Pennants are a type of dragonfly that gets its name from landing on tall stalks and sticking out like a flag, waving in the breeze.

July 22, 2011
American Snout

When I first saw this butterfly I knew immediately it wasn’t a species I’d seen before at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Who could forget that nose?!

This butterfly has the longest nose of any butterfly I’ve ever seen.

July 18, 2011
Peregrine Falcon on the Hunt

For the past week, a juvenile peregrine falcon has been patrolling from the treetops at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Newly fledged black-crowned night herons, which have taken to hanging out around the island at Nature Boardwalk, are possible targets for the bird of prey. However, the night herons seem to have evaded capture, flapping away with a burst of energy at the last possible moment.

July 13, 2011
Not All Frogs Go “Ribbit”

Walking around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, you might hear a loud bellowing sound, like a cow. If the sound doesn’t seem to originate in the nearby Farm-in-the-Zoo Presented by John Deere, you may just be listening to the call of a bullfrog.

After all, bullfrogs got their names for sounding like cattle.

July 11, 2011
Black-Eyed Susans in Bloom

Today’s burst of rain and wind did nothing to dampen the spirits of the black-eyed susans at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. These cheery, above-the-knee perennials have been quite successful in the establishment phase of the new ecosystem. Full sun, two years of a nice, long, wet spring and some well-drained soil makes a good recipe for to grow these in any garden.

July 6, 2011
Father Fish at Work

Male pumpkinseed, bluegill and largemouth bass at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo are busy these days. At many locations around the pond, you can look down from the boardwalk and see these fish hard at work making, maintaining and defending their nests.

The nests look like round craters in the pond’s sandy substrate.

June 29, 2011
New Painted Turtles at Nature Boardwalk

Yesterday morning, eight new painted turtles were introduced to the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo with the help of kids from zoo Conservation Camp as well as generous Nature Boardwalk supporters, including representatives from ArcelorMittal.

The kids tipped plastic containers holding the turtles into the water so the reptiles could swim off and find their perfect place in the pond.

June 28, 2011
Least Bittern at Nature Boardwalk

Birders are enjoying a rare sighting at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. As these photos by local birdwatcher and photographer Clara Coen show, the least bittern, a secretive heron species, has been seen among the pond’s bulrushes.

June 23, 2011
Butterfly Season Begins

Flowers are blooming everywhere you go at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Right now, yellow flowers are particularly conspicuous and abundant at the pond. The flowers in the photograph are called tickseed or Coreopsis palmata. All these blossoms make the boardwalk a prime habitat for butterflies looking to drink nectar from flowers.

The butterfly in the photo is an eastern tiger swallowtail.

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